French vote on Armenian genocide another blow for Free Speech

October 13, 2006 |

French frogYesterday French Senate has passed a law making it illegal to deny the Armenian Genocide. The events described as the Genocide revolved around the Turkish army’s actions against the Armenian population from 1915 onwards. I personally think the series of events from that time on during the First World War was genocide but not in the sense of the Nazis in the next war.

As usual with these feel good resolutions making a viewpoint illegal, however noxious, does nothing to stop the views existing and being expressed. From time to time the State does wear down the proponents of hate speech. David Irving, after years of litigation and prosecution, seems to have finally waved the white flag. But will that mean the holocaust deniers will give up. Of course not. It comes down to the hard yards of engaging in the debate wherever and whenever it appears.

In Australia there remains supporters of the “when in doubt” repress free speech with the nonsense of Phillip Ruddock’s ban on books and Pru Goward’s call for sexual vilification laws.

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